An angiolipoma is a benign tumor formed by the combination of benign fatty tissue and blood vessels.It is a type of lipoma, which is in turn defined as a benign tumor of the adipose tissue.
Angiolipomas affect mostly young adult men, and it is manifested as multiple subcutaneous nodules accompanied by extreme pain.
The exact causes of angiolipoma have not been identified, and the treatment is a complete excision of the affected tissue.
In this article, you can get information about what exactly an angiolipoma is, why it is caused, its symptoms, its possible complications, its diagnosis, and treatment.
Table of Contents
What Is Lipoma?
Lipomas are the most frequent type of benign soft tissue tumors. They are composed of adipose tissue, also known as body fat.
Their texture is soft. They are commonly painless and movable. Their size ranges from 1 centimeter to more than 6 centimeters in diameter.
Lipomas can be found in both children and adults but are more frequent in adults of 40 to 60 years of age.The causes of lipomas include hereditary conditions and minor injuries that can trigger their development.
The treatment of a lipoma becomes necessary in the case of pain or movement restriction, but they are frequently removed due to cosmetic reasons. This is done by the following methods:
- Simple excision under local anesthetic: The process takes no more than half an hour. It is performed in most of the cases.
- Liposuction is another option: Its advantage is the reduced scarring. However, it can lead to regrowth of large lipomas in case the entire tumor has not been adequately removed.
- Injection of compounds that trigger lipolysis: These include phosphatidylcholine and steroids. This is a somewhat new method, and it ultimately prevents the formation of scars on the skin.
What Are The Different Types Of Lipomas
- Adenolipomas: These are associated with sweat glands.
- Angiolipoleiomyoma: They are subcutaneous tumors made of smooth muscle cells, connective tissues, fat, and blood vessels.
- Cerebellar pontine angle and lipomas in the internal auditory canal.
- Chondroid lipoma: Yellow, thick, firm tumors typically found on female legs.
- Corpus callosum: Also known as the colossal commissure. It consists of a bundle of a cluster of neural fibers beneath the brain cortex.
- Hibernomas: Brown fat lipomas.
- Intradermal spindle cell lipomas: They mostly affect women on the head, neck, torso, and the limbs.
- Neural fibrolipomas: these are tumors that are composed of fibro-fatty tissue. It often leads to nerve compression.
- Pleomorphic lipomas: they result in floret cells with their nuclei overlapping. They tend to occur on the back and neck of older men.
- Spindle-cell lipomas: they are slow-growing tumors that occur in the back, neck, and shoulders of older men. They are asymptomatic and subcutaneous.
- Superficial subcutaneous lipomas: these tumors lie just under the skin surface. They can occur in any area of the body that has fat but tends to appear in the torso, forearms, and thighs. They are very common.
- Angiolipomas: painful subcutaneous tumors made of adipose tissue. Read further to know in detail about its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
What Is Angiolipomas?
Angiolipomas are subcutaneous tumors that rarely develop into cancerous growths. They are harmless and benign, but they can be very are painful.
Angiolipomas are composed of fats and blood vessels, particularly capillaries. Sometimes they arise from the muscles. They tend to occur on the neck, chest, back, and arms in groups.
The other names given to this condition are fibromyo lipoma, hemangioma lipoma, and vascular lipoma.
Angiolipomas usually occur in young adults of 20 to 30 years of age. The incidence rates are higher in males than in females, but both of them can be affected. There is no racial predisposition this condition.
Angiolipomas are usually asymptomatic. They may present no symptoms or may present only mild symptoms.
The treatment for angiolipomas is not compulsory. However, they are preferably excised due to cosmetic reasons, as well as pain and difficulty in movement.
The excision of angiolipomas is an easy process that can be done within an hour. The risk of recurrence is very low in most of the cases.
Angiolipoma belongs to the group of painful subcutaneous tumors. This group is termed as ANGEL, which is an acronym that stands for Angiolipoma, Neuroma, Glomus tumor, Eccrine spiradenoma, and Leiomyoma.
Angiolipomas might be asymptomatic, or they might produce soft lesions on the arms and trunk. They may be multiple and accompanied by pain, but they are a harmless growth. They can be confused with lipomas due to their similar appearance.
The symptoms of an angiolipoma can be summarized as follows:
i. The Appearance Of Skin-Colored Nodules Or Plaques. The nodules might be single or multiple, but multiple growths are more common. They may appear in any part of the body but are more frequent on the arms, chest, back, and lower legs. They are movable and subcutaneous, that is, they appear under the epidermis, looking like bumps under the skin. In the initial stages, they are soft and tend to become hard later.
Their size is generally of 2 centimeters in diameter.They grow very slowly and can reach up to 6 centimeters in diameter.
They are composed of fatty tissue and blood vessels. To be more precise, the blood vessels that compose an angiolipoma are capillaries.
ii. Feeling of pain in the nodules. Pain is very frequent, but some of the tumors may not present it. However, Angiolipoma is popularly known as a painful tumor.
What Are The Complication Associated With Angiolipomas?
Angiolipomas are rare and benign tumors. Hence, complications arising from an angiolipoma are very improbable. Death has not been reported from any angiolipoma case.
The Possible Complications Of Angiolipomas Include:
- Intense pain.
- Recurrence of the tumor after its excision.
- Damage to blood vessels, nerves and surrounding tissues during removal of the tumor.
There is not any case of cancer arising from an angiolipoma yet. These tumors are non-malignant and asymptomatic. At the most, they are known to cause discomfort and pain.
What Are Causes Behind Angiolipomas
It is not known yet what are the exact reasons that trigger the onset of angiolipoma tumors. However, these might be the probable causes:
a. Genetic Condition:
Hereditary predisposition may be a causative factor of angiolipoma, especially in cases of Familial Multiple Lipomatosis. This is an inherited disorder that consists of multiple lipomas that commonly appear on the trunk and limbs. The lipomas are encapsulated.
b. Minor Injuries:
There are a few cases of angiolipomas that have been reported to occur from minor injuries.
Risk factors are those that increase the chances of contracting a disorder or disease. The risk factors of angiolipomas, like its causes, have not been exactly determined. However, some cases of hereditary predisposition have been observed.
The diagnosis of angiolipoma is difficult because of its similarity to other fatty tumors like a lipoma.
It can be distinguished by the study of a biopsy in which blood vessels proliferate with mature fat cells. This is a characteristic feature of angiolipomas.
Some of the diagnosis methods of an angiolipoma include:
- Physical examination with medical history evaluation.
- Radiography of the region in which the tumor is present.
- Biopsy of the affected tissue and pathological examination of the same.
- Microscopic examination of the biopsy by a specialized pathologist
- An angiolipoma may also be diagnosed with the help of a Capsule Endoscopy, Retrograde Ileoscopy, and Computed Tomography Scan.
Sometimes additional tests and differential diagnosis might be made to distinguish the angiolipoma from other similar conditions and confirm which is the one that the patient has.
Differential diagnosis can be made with the following conditions:
- Kaposi sarcoma
- Spindle cell hemangioendothelioma
How To Get Rid Of Angiolipomas
Angiolipomas are asymptomatic and harmless. The growths usually appear on the neck, chest, and the upper arms such that clothing can easily cover them.
Their treatment is recommended in cases of intense pain, restriction of movement, or it is done due to aesthetic reasons.
1. The method that is used the most is an angiolipoma excision. It is simple and short, taking around half an hour to complete. The chances of success are high if the operation is done carefully to prevent its regrowth. The disadvantage of this method is the appearance of scars.
2. Liposuction is another treatment option. However, its rate of success is not very high, and the angiolipoma usually resurfaces. This process is more effective in the early stages of the tumor when it is still soft.
The surgeries involving the removal of angiolipomas are rather simple and do not imply complications. Difficulty results in cases in which many tumors are present. Recurrence is improbable, and its risk is null in cases in which the angiolipoma has been completely and successfully removed. Nonetheless, this does not stop new types of tumors from appearing.
An early treatment ensures a faster recovery from the tumors and the scars.
How To Prevent Angiolipoma?
Since the exact cause of angiolipoma is not determined, there is no known method of prevention of its occurrence.
However, after a surgical removal, the recurrence of angiolipoma can be prevented by post-operative care. This involves maintaining a minimum level of activities until the wounds heal completely from the surgery.
Also, regular revisions, screenings, and check-ups are recommended to monitor the risk of any possible occurrence and recurrence of tumors or abnormal growths.
Natural Remedies To Treat Angiolipoma
The treatment of skin tumors is achieved by surgery and medications. However, the symptoms can be alleviated by natural alternatives. These are some advice to treat fatty acids deposits at home:
1. Detoxification of the body.This can be achieved by drinking a glass of lukewarm water with juice taken from half a lemon every morning.
2. Avoiding the consumption of refined oils and fats.
3. Avoiding the intake of foods that have artificial components like additives, preservatives, and pesticides.
4. The increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. They stimulate the decomposition of fat and toxin elimination.
5. Intake of omega-3 fatty acids. They prevent the growth of adipose tissue.
Also, there is a simple recipe for the removal of lipomas which might be worth a try. Those who have given it a chance wear by its effectiveness.
The recipe is simple, and it consists of equal parts of natural honey and gram flour mixed well, forming a homogenous composition. A coating of this mixture has to be applied on the affected area and fixed with the help of a bandage.
It can be washed after 36 hours of letting the mixture act on the skin. The process should be repeated for 5 to 8 days. After this period, the fat should have been decomposed reducing the tumor growth.
Honey is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It removes impurities from the skin and stimulates the circulation of lymph and blood. These characteristics make it a suitable remedy for various skin conditions.
Natural remedies are an alternative way of treating health conditions. Their effectiveness might take longer time and more patience than conventional treatments. However, the use of natural resources ensures the decrease in the input of potentially harmful chemical substances into the body.